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Dragon's Dogma 2

'Twixt a Rock and a Hard Place Walkthrough

Nathan Garvin

Life is hard for the beastren who inhabit Vermund, and many have no recourse when faced with the bigotry of humans but to endure as best they can. One aspiring beastren seeks to escape this plight with the aid of his beastren brethren via legalistic means - if only a kind outside could make a dangerous trek to lubricate the wheels of justice. This quest is simple in its objective, but it can be difficult in execution. On paper all you need to do is deliver a "Letter of Request" iconLetter of Request, but the intended recipient, Ernesto, can be found in the Volcanic Island Camp along the southern edge of the game map. This necessitates a long, perilous journey, where the unpredictable nature of the game’s RNG will have plenty of opportunity to complicate matters. So long as you make the trek, however, there’s not a lot that can go wrong with this quest. This page will provide a walkthrough for the side quest "Twixt a Rock and a Hard Place" iconTwixt a Rock and a Hard Place in "Dragon" iconDragon’s Dogma 2, including how to start the quest, how to reach the "Volcanic Island Camp" iconVolcanic Island Camp, and what to do if you can’t find Ernesto or Barbas.

Find a beastren named Akakios in the Mercantile Ward of Bakbattahl, who will give you the “Letter of Request” and start this quest.

Starting ’Twixt a Rock and a Hard Place

This quest is pretty easy to start, you just need to reach Bakbattahl - this is its sole precondition, you don’t need to advance the main questline, go through the "Checkpoint Rest Town" iconCheckpoint Rest Town or anything else. If you sneak through to Battahl via the Guerco Cavern Checkpoint you should be able to start this quest on your first visit. The quest also doesn’t expire via the progression of in-game time, so even if you pick it up before you’re ready to challenge the dangerous monsters dwelling between "Bakbattahl" iconBakbattahl and the Volcanic Island Camp, you’re free to ignore it nearly indefinitely while you buff up and attend to other matters.

Head to the southwestern edge of Bakbattahl, as if you’re leaving the town via a major road and you’ll pass through the “Mercantile Ward”. Lurking near some tents lining the road is a beastren named Akakios, who will approach you when you’re in the vicinity. Keep an eye out for him and let him talk to you, and he’ll ask you, as a fellow Vermundian, to deliver a letter to a man named Ernesto in the Volcanic Island Camp, starting this quest.

(1 of 2) Your first stop is the distant dungeon “Drabnir’s Grotto”,

Your first stop is the distant dungeon “Drabnir’s Grotto”, (left), which is filled with Knackers and Rattlers, among other beasts. (right)

Travel to the Volcanic Island Camp

As Akakios stated, the more direct road from Bakbattahl to the Volcanic Island Camp is closed (if you take the road south from "Flamebearer Palace" iconFlamebearer Palace your path will be blocked by the "Flamebearer Palace Spellseal Door" iconFlamebearer Palace Spellseal Door), forcing you to take the longer, more perilous Drabnir’s Grotto route. Drabnir’s Grotto is a dungeon located a good ways south of Bakbattahl, but to get there you’ll need to follow the roads southwest, then south, and finally southeast from Bakbattahl. Check out the linked page for a full walkthrough of the dungeon.

To make your life easier, bring a "Portcrystal" iconPortcrystal, a "Ferrystone" iconFerrystone, and a "Sand-Patterned Camping Kit" iconSand-Patterned Camping Kit (or "Elite Camping Kit" iconElite Camping Kit, if you have one) with you. Being able to recover lost maximum health at campsites can make this trip much easier, the Ferrystone will ensure you don’t have to walk back, and the Portcrystal will prevent you from having to make a second trip in the future, should you wish to return to the Volcanic Island Camp. Along the way to "Drabnir's Grotto" iconDrabnir’s Grotto you’ll have to fend off plenty of "Hobgoblin" iconHobgoblin, "Redwolf" iconRedwolf, "Venin Harpy" iconVenin Harpy, "Gore Harpy" iconGore Harpy, "Asp" iconAsp, and "Rattler" iconRattler enemies, along with "Undead" iconUndead, "Skeleton" iconSkeleton and "Phantasm" iconPhantasm enemies if the sun is down. The mountain path leading to Drabnir’s Grotto is guarded by "Lost Mercenary" iconLost Mercenary enemies and the odd armored "Cyclops" iconCyclops. Suffice to say, it’s a slog. Drabnir’s Grotto itself is mostly occupied by "Knacker" iconKnacker, Rattler and "Ooze" iconOoze enemies along with the odd Cyclops, and is quite large as far as dungeons go.

Once you’re through Drabnir’s Grotto, you’re… well, more than half of the way to your destination, but there’s still a good stretch of monster-infested road between the eastern exit of Drabnir’s Grotto and the Volcanic Island Camp. Along this road, you’ll need to fight your way through Knacker, Hobgoblin, and Lost Mercenary enemies, along with possibly the odd "Griffin" iconGriffin and "Goreminotaur" iconGoreminotaur depending on the route you take and your luck.

(1 of 3) Pass through Drabnir’s Grotto, however, and you’ll reach the western coast of the Volcanic Island.

Ernesto Location - Volcanic Island Camp

Eventually, however, you’ll reach the Volcanic Island Camp. Enter via the western gate, place your Portcrystal inside, rest at the inn if you wish to create a checkpoint save, and then exit via the northern gate to find Ernesto. Talk to him and give him the Letter of Request and after some alterations, Ernesto will send you ahead to the Agamen Ruins on the eastern edge of the island to deliver the edited document to a man named Barbas. Looks like your journey isn’t done yet.

(1 of 2) More dangerous foes bar your path as you head to reach the Agamen Volcanic Ruins,

More dangerous foes bar your path as you head to reach the Agamen Volcanic Ruins, (left), but once you arrive you’ll be free to pass on the letter you were charged with to Barbas and complete this quest. (right)

Barbas Location - Agamen Ruins

From where you met Ernesto, follow the road through some ruins to the east, then southeast, dispatching more enemies as you advance, including Hobgoblin, Knacker, Lost Mercenary, "Succubus" iconSuccubus, "Magma Scale" iconMagma Scale, "Warg" iconWarg, Rattler, and Cyclops enemies. It’s another slog - the fourth and final gauntlet you must run to reach your destination. Return to the Agamen Ruins - where you began your adventure - and you should find Barbas just inside. Talk to him and give him the document to complete the quest, earning Barbas’s thanks as well as more tangible rewards in the form of 2,500 XP, a Ferrystone, and 20,000G.

While ’Twixt a Rock and Hard Place is rewarding, it’s a lot of work. But there are more gains to be had on the Volcanic Island. You can purchase new, better arms and armor from the "Volcanic Island Armory" iconVolcanic Island Armory in the Volcanic Island Camp, for starters, but there are also several side quests you can complete while you’re here, including:

Some of these even unlock new vocations, so be sure to check out the linked pages and make the most of your trip!

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
  • Platforms,
    PC, PS5, XB X|S
  • Genre
    Action RPG
  • Guide Release
    28 February 2024
  • Last Updated
    22 May 2024
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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